Time to fire up those grills and celebrate the land of the free and home of the brave with hot dogs and beach days and fireworks and parades. And while we are at it, let us shout out to those who make it possible with a toast of domestic lager to those men and women both overseas and here at home who literally (if I may borrow a line from the Beastie Boys) fight for our right to party.

Pardon me for beating a dead horse here, but can we talk about the Stanley Cup for a second? I mean, what a night on Saturday. Following days of gray skies and rain, the sun pokes out from behind the clouds just in time to illuminate Lord Stanley’s Cup in all its sterling glory. The high school teams got to greet the Cup at the airport for photo ops with the team’s owners, as well as longtime Vineyard friend, Cam Neely, before the Cup was paraded down Main Street in Edgartown in an antique fire truck, with stops at Sharky’s, the Wharf, and finally, the Boathouse.

We had an additional occasion for the flowing champagne this weekend, as my dear friends, Melanie and Nick Prescott, celebrated their first year of marriage. Congrats, guys. Here’s to many more.

Breakfast at the Edgartown Inn is one of those things I always forget about and then am delighted to remember. I love the trip back in time provided by the old Edgartown house, the antique photos on the walls, and the vintage décor. And man, those blueberry pancakes are awesome! An added bonus is having as a server fellow Edgartonian, Francesca Mancione, who is home taking a break from her college studies in communications at Bridgewater.

Congratulations to John and Amanda Waldron, who have laid the Welcome mat in their new home on Sheriff’s Lane this past weekend, along with children Hannah, Ashleigh, Jed, and Ava. Best wishes in your new home. May it be filled with love and laughter and excellent memories in all the years to come.

I have an exciting report from my father’s bird park, where a family of flycatchers has set up camp in a funny wooden bird hotel. Mom and Dad Flycatcher have been poking their heads in routinely to feed their babies, until yesterday, when before our eyes, the babies emerged one at a time to take their first flights. We watched as the fledglings followed Mom and Dad from branch to branch through the treetops, practicing their new skills. It takes a lot to silence my entire family, but nature certainly had us all in awe that morning.

In addition to our country, we have quite a few birthdays this week. Happy belated birthday to Colleen Seadale, who celebrated her day on June 23. Fireworks pop for Charlie Fenske, who turns 12 on July 2. Also July 2, birthday wishes go out to Megan Anderson. Wave the flag for Kate Walpole, July 3; Maggie Brogan, July 4; and Danielle Willett, July 5.

Here’s to a fun and safe Fourth of July weekend. Happy Birthday, United States. You don’t look a day over 234.